History of Agnes Riley Gardens

Agnes Riley Gardens were formerly the grounds of Oakfield House owned by Frederick George Riley. In 1931 Mr Riley offered his property to the London County Council as a gift on condition that the 0.81 hectares of garden were made into a public open space and named Agnes Riley Memorial Garden. At that time the LCC was redeveloping this area, which contained a number of large houses. Mr Riley lived in the house until his death but in 1937 transferred the garden to the LCC. Its layout as a public park began in 1938 but was interrupted by WWII when the site was used partly for allotments and partly for military purposes, although a temporary playground existed. Mr Riley died in 1942 and in 1954 the whole site including that of the house, which was demolished, was laid out as a park. In the south was a children’s playground, paddling pool and games courts with the rest landscaped with trees, shrubs, lawns and an ornamental pond that remains an important feature. In 1952 the word ‘Memorial’ was dropped from the name.

After School Nature Club

The Friends of Agnes Riley Gardens have teamed up with Urban Canopy to offer a FREE after-school Nature Club in the Community Garden in September and October, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Nature Club takes place on Wednesdays from 4pm until 6pm starting on 15th September and running until 20th October 2021. Each session is ‘drop-in’ so you do not have to attend for the full two hours – drop in anytime between 4pm and 6pm. When booking via Eventbrite, you must book for each date you would like to attend. Please book one ticket for each child attending – it is not necessary to make bookings for adults. Please note that these sessions are ‘stay-and-play’ and parents must attend to supervise children.

These are some of the activities we’ll be doing at Nature Club:

  • Learn how to sow seeds and take cuttings
  • Build bug hotels and bird boxes
  • Learn about wildlife and join in the bug hunt
  • Make compost and organic fertiliser
  • Harvest seeds and make wildflower seed bombs
  • Carve pumpkins for halloween

To book a place at Nature Club, click on this link to go to our Eventbrite Page: